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The Journal of Biochemistry
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 146  |  Issue: 2  |  Page No.: 173 - 183

Thermodynamic and Kinetic Effects of Morpholino Modification on Pyrimidine Motif Triplex Nucleic Acid Formation under Physiological Condition

H Torigoe, K Sasaki and T. Katayama    


Due to instability of pyrimidine motif triplex nucleic acid under physiological pH and low magnesium ion concentration, stabilization of the triplex under the physiological condition is crucial in improving its therapeutic potential to artificially control gene expression in vivo. To this end, we investigated the thermodynamic and kinetic effects of morpholino (MOR) modification of triplex-forming oligonucleotide (TFO) on the triplex formation under the physiological condition. The thermodynamic analyses indicated that the MOR modification of TFO not only significantly increased the thermal stability of the triplex but also increased the binding constant for the triplex formation by nearly 2 orders of magnitude. The consideration of the observed thermodynamic parameters suggested that the increased rigidity of the MOR-modified TFO in the free state relative to the corresponding unmodified TFO may enable the significant increase in the binding constant. Kinetic data demonstrated that the observed increase in the binding constant resulted from the considerable increase in the association rate constant rather than the decrease in the dissociation rate constant. This information will be valuable for designing novel chemically modified TFO with higher binding affinity in the triplex formation under physiological conditions, leading to progress in therapeutic applications of the antigene strategy in vivo.

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